“I loved Rochester. I thought I would end up here,” says Jean Every, a resident of Briarwood at St. John’s Meadows. At 83, she’s returned to her roots having moved back to Rochester from Glens Falls, NY, and is settling in to her new lifestyle.
Jean grew up on Hollenbeck Street, off Avenue D. Shortly out of high school, she met her husband, Leonard, at a dance in 1949 held at Temple B’rith Kodesh. After the dance, Leonard told a mutual friend, “I’m going to marry that girl,” and he did two and a half years later. “Life was so simple in those days,” says Jean. After they married, he convinced her to move to Glens Falls, his hometown, where they raised two sons, Richard and David. He worked as the pharmacist in the local drug store and she had a successful 23-year career at First National Bank of Glens Falls.
With Leonard’s passing and Jean’s health declining, her son David suggested she move to back to Rochester. Jean had never heard of St. John’s Meadows, but took David’s advice when he said, “this is where you should be.” She moved into her apartment on July 1, 2014. David lives 20 minutes away and visits her frequently, along with his two teenage daughters.
“I’m very happy,” says Jean. “The people here are just wonderful. I can’t tell you how anxious I was in the beginning, but all the people have really been very helpful.” She says she’s “brand new” to the community and is “still getting her feet wet,” but more faces are becoming familiar each day. “I feel safe with all the people I’ve met. Just knowing you can go out the door and say, ‘Good Morning!’ to people you recognize means a lot.”
Jean enjoys the convenient location of her apartment and its proximity to the Briarwood Dining Room, chair exercise classes, bridge club, book club and bingo. With David’s help, she recently reconnected with two of her high school friends whom she hadn’t seen in 20 years and invited them to lunch at her apartment.
“Now I’ve come full circle,” she says.